Melba Roy, NASA Mathmetician, 1964. I don’t know much about orbital element timetables, but I love that the computations of a gracious lady in pearls helped produce them (by which millions saw the satellite from Earth as it passed overhead). Ms. Roy headed a group of NASA mathmeticians known as “computers” who tracked the Echo satellites in 1964. Photo: NASA/Corbis

Melba Roy, NASA Mathmetician, 1964. I don’t know much about orbital element timetables, but I love that the computations of a gracious lady in pearls helped produce them (by which millions saw the satellite from Earth as it passed overhead). Ms. Roy headed a group of NASA mathmeticians known as “computers” who tracked the Echo satellites in 1964. Photo: NASA/Corbis

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